NHS staff in the north east are proudly supporting LD Work week which runs from 6 to 12 November. Learning Disability Work Week is a campaign run by the charity, Mencap to celebrate what great employees people with a learning disability can make.
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services are supporting the Project Choice programme which gives young people with a learning disability the skills and abilities to enable them to work.
As part of the Project Choice programme the Trust’s communications team currently have a young man, Matthew, working as part of their team.
Working is good for our mental health, it gives us social contacts and support, gives us social status and a sense of identity. There are huge benefits to supporting someone with a learning disability to access work and Matthew has had a really positive effect on our team.Adele JoiceyCommunications Lead, NTW
Matthew is also enjoying his time within the team and adds: “I think my placement is really enjoyable and it’s been a good experience for me. It has helped me to get to know some new people in the work as well.”
Project Choice is a work based programme which equips young people with learning disabilities, difficulties or autism with social and work skills needed to enable them to become work ready. The project is running across the north east with several young people gaining employment which demonstrates that with the right support and guidance students can become active members of society earning a wage and contributing to the workforce.
There are many benefits to employing a person with a learning disability. There is evidence to suggest that employees with a learning disability stay with one employer for a longer time than most other employees and take less time off work. Many employers also report that their staff team morale increases as a result of working with their colleague with a learning disability.
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK and only 6% of adults with a learning disability are in paid work and this is something that the #LDWorkWeek is seeking to change.